“Can you hear me?”
“Could you unmute your mics?”
“Can I share my screen?”
These are rhetoric that took center stage in business meetings and video correspondence for most of last year and well into this year. The advent of the coronavirus pandemic edged many companies and teammates into the corner of taking a bulk of, if not all, meetings online. With the pandemic came the need for physical distancing and, as a result, increased popularity and patronage of web conferencing tools.
Whether on a personal computer or mobile phone, web conferencing is known to encompass features that enable users to place calls via an application over the internet, through locally downloaded software. These technologies are tools and systems that are basically created to support group works both in-office and remotely.
Web conferencing encourages popular real-time collaboration features such as screen share, document sharing, and online meetings. These web conferencing tools have aided the progress of businesses and firms, improving their digital faces, especially during the raging COVID-19 pandemic. Web conferencing has equally enhanced the wide-spread and successes of remote work.
Growth and Popularity of Web Conferencing Platforms
Platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, and Cisco Web Meetings are web conferencing tools that have undergone massive growth since the pandemic began. One could say that we are fortunate to have had them designed before these trying times. Asides from the increased downloads, some features of these applications were upgraded to suit user preferences.
The case of the Smart Glasses, created by a leading company called Vuzix, used by medical practitioners who have been live-streaming surgery with it or using it in emergency rooms and ICUs to treat patients is a vivid example. This shows how much every industry in the world is adapting to online video correspondence. If your brand is still trying to integrate, Sculpt IT can help you with a custom mobile application and web development service that suits your web conferencing needs.
According to Statista, platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype made up the top three web conferencing tools in the United States for 2020 as a result of the online meetings spike caused by the pandemic. Here are the top ten web conferencing tools for the year 2021.
Top Web Conferencing Platforms
Zoom is a videotelephony application created by Eric Yuan and a couple of experienced engineers from Webex and Cisco. It has free and paid session features. The former allows 100 participants for a 40-minute restricted session. The mobile application rose to fame during the lockdown periods of the pandemic.
2. Cisco Webex
Cisco Webex is another collaborative tool that has come through for most companies, business owners, and individuals during the pandemic. The conferencing tool also supports screen sharing, HD video quality, and likes. It enables meetings for a particular amount of people, and it also has a free and paid plan.
Although the application requires a download for the full features, GoToMeeting has a couple of exciting features. It allows more than 40 minutes per session and allows for in-dial audio calls to notify users about the commencements of meetings. It also allows adjustments of enabled participants in a meeting.
4. Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger started as an application for chatting in 2011. In subsequent years, it became an application that supported chatting; alongside sending and receiving media files. Lately, the company has enabled video calling features on the app. It is desktop-compatible on Microsoft and MacBook, and it is also free to use.
Skype is another telecommunication tool for conversations and video calls over the internet through your computer, phones, tablets, specialized wristwatches, and even through an X-box console. The tool can be used for the transmission of media from the application and it also keeps a record of conversations on the app.
6. Google Duo
Google duo, created in 2016, has been likened to iPhone’s facetime. It enables video calls and chats. The video chat mobile app was initially restricted to a number of 11 participants and has undergone several upgrades. It is also a free platform like most of these conferencing tools. To sign up, one needs a phone number and a phone that receives SMS.
7. Google Meet
Google Meet is a straightforward online tool that enables video calls, in-chat messages, and screen sharing. The video-conferencing tool allows 100 participants per meeting for 60 minutes. The video conferencing app is also free and easily accessible, with an icon now visible in all updated Gmail accounts. But it also has other paid options.
8. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is a subsidiary of the Microsoft family. It is known to compete with a similar service known as Slack. Asides from the default video calls, in-app messages, and other workspace features, it also provides space for documents. It also has a paid and free version.
9. Amazon Chime
Unlike the aforementioned conference applications, Amazon Chime has a different mode of operation. One cannot access this service without the ownership of an Amazon Web Services account. Additionally, this sophisticated app is a pay-as-you-go software, which only deducts money for the features engaged in the application.
Houseparty is a more up close and personal application. A one-on-one or group session lasts for over 60 minutes. Users of this application receive a notification whenever their contacts are online and ready to chat. During the pandemic, in March, it had about 17 million downloads.
Benefits of Web Conferencing Tools
These collaborative tools have been useful in a couple of ways. As stated earlier, they helped ease failures and abated the pandemic effect on the various economies around the world. These tools also reduced the stress levels experienced by employees from having to resume work in physical offices.
If there is anything the lockdown period taught businesses, it is that employees can be fully effective even when working from home. This is why SCULPT IT offers you the best value with our progressive web applications and cross-platform app development to give you a seamless remote working experience.
Web conferencing has heightened the rate of remote jobs, encouraging the comfort of working from home. Collaborative technology has provided employers and business owners with a wide range of tools -from sophisticated to basic- meeting the specific needs of businesses and individuals in the corporate world.
Relationship bonds have also improved. At Sculpt IT, we understand the place of building a team of reliable partners, and we can help sculpt your projects to meet global standards.
Web Conferencing Software Features
There are a couple of features that help these collaborative tools aid better communication. They include:
- High-Quality Audio and Video Recording
- Intuitive Screen and File Sharing
- Built-In Recording and Playback Tools
- On-Demand Webcasting/In-Sync Live Presentations Functionality.
- Easy Customizations.
- Mobile, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Social Media Integration.
- Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Audio Conferencing
- Ability to Go Private
- Website, HTML Slides sharing
- One-click Meetings
- Surveys, polls, and quizzes
- Collaboration Tools
Troubleshooting Web Conferencing Issues
While these tools enable ease of communication, a couple of issues could arise while engaging these applications. Here are a few of them and basic ways to tackle them.
Bandwidth or Network issues
It is usually notified by freezing videos, delay in carrying out actions, failed screen sharing, etc. These problems can be reversed by checking with IT personnel and network providers.
These issues sometimes occur when there is a failure to update the web conferencing applications. The application may not function if the functionality issues you ignore.
There is a need to employ noise-canceling applications to avoid this issue. One should also make sure to unmute microphones while using these applications.
To solve use errors, there is a need for the user to familiarize themselves with the application. This helps them run a smooth meeting.